2018 Photo Walks

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For anyone who lives in the Raleigh area I teach at the JC Raulston Arboretum and the 2018 Photo Walks have just opened for  registration.

Next year 3 of them are indoor workshops and the other 9 are part lecture, part shooting in the garden.

Here is the complete listing with times and costs – limit 12 attendees each.

Register at:  http://www.jcra.ncsu.edu      Events – Calendar   

Go to the month you want and register.


JC Raulston Arboretum

Photo Walks 2018

Thursday, January 18   2pm – 3:30pm

Topic: Black and White

Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members

What to bring: any camera including the iPhone that has a way to set black and white

Any lens

We will explore the possibilities in the winter garden during this session using black and white.

Thursday, February 15   2pm – 4pm

Topic: Indoor Flowers I

Cost: $20  members, $30 non-members

We have 3 sessions on indoor photography of flowers and other natural subjects this year. Each class will cover a unique area of indoor photography. This first class will cover some basics and emphasize setting up simple subjects and a variety of backgrounds. A macro lens is suggested but you can use other lenses. A tripod is highly recommended.

Thursday, March 15   2pm – 3:30pm

Topic: Wide angle

Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members

What to bring: camera with wide angle lens.

You can do this class with a smartphone but a DSLR is recommended with a wide angle lens for best results. You will find new perspectives for your photographs.

Thursday, April 19   2pm – 3:30pm

Topic: Backgrounds

Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members

What to bring: Camera and lens in the 35mm – 135mm range. Smartphone can be used.

Tripod recommended.

Your subject is very important, but this class will emphasize making the background work for you too.

Thursday, May 17   2pm – 3:30pm

Topic: Macro

Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members

What to bring: camera with macro lens or the ability to focus close and tripod

A long lens option will be explained if you do not have close-up equipment:

Exploring the close-up world in the garden is an exciting experience and you can achieve strong compositions and fun abstracts.

Thursday, June 21   10am – 11:30am

Topic: Composition   

Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members

What to bring: camera DSLR preferred but can use a smartphone, macro or normal lens – zooms okay

Tripod recommended

This class will expand on the traditional ideas of composition as you really work with each subject beyond the standard “snapshot”.

Thursday, July 19        10am – 11:30am

Topic: Lighting

Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members

What to bring: camera with macro or normal lens, tripod

Optional: white foamcore or reflector and diffuser – some will be available

Lighting is the center of the photographic experience and this short class will introduce some easy controls to greatly improve your flower photographs.

Thursday, August 16   10am – 12pm

Topic: Indoor Flowers II

Cost: $20  members, $30 non-members

This class will emphasize a variety of lighting ideas for indoor flower photography. A macro lens is great but not required. A tripod is highly recommended.

Thursday, September 20      2pm – 3:30pm

Topic: Color 

Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members

What to bring: Any camera and lens including smartphones.

Tripod recommended.

It may seem obvious to think about color when photographing in a garden setting. However, thoughtful consideration of the colors before pressing the shutter button will lead to better images. We will discuss monochromatic color schemes, interaction between certain colors to set a mood along with the impact of certain colors.

Thursday, October 18    2pm – 3:30pm

Topic: Textures

Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members

What to bring: Any camera and lens including smartphones can be used.

Tripod recommended.

We will search out various textures in the garden and notice how the light accents or diffuses the texture of different plants.

Thursday, November 15      2pm – 3:30pm

Topic: Depth of Field

Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members

What to bring: camera with adjustable settings, ISO, aperture, shutter

Tripod encouraged

If you usually use Automatic or Program modes, you will especially enjoy this class. You will learn how to get sharp focus… and how to control areas you want to soften too.

Thursday, December 12   2pm – 4pm

Topic: Indoor Macro

Cost: $20  members, $30 non-members

This is 3rd in the series of indoor classes.  Various subjects will be available in addition to flowers. A variety of surfaces for your subjects will be discussed and provided for the hands on portion.  A tripod is highly recommended.


JC Raulston Moonlight in the Garden







Moonlight in the Garden gives photographers an amazing opportunity at the JC Raulston Arboretum.   https://jcra.ncsu.edu/

Beautiful lighting for photos, food trucks, music and more!

Member night – Tuesday, November 7        7pm-9pm

November 9-11 and November 16-18             6pm – 9pm

Tickets are $10.00 for members, $20.00 for nonmembers, and $5.00 for children under 12.




Garden Visits


Beautiful Lotus

The garden is a place of joy and relaxation for me…and probably you as well. I spend a lot of time at the Raulston Arboretum either photographing for myself… for their website… or with students. But still, almost every time there is a new discovery and a moment in time to capture.

Found this hummingbird moth recently sitting still.. that was a first!


Hummingbird Moth

It is great to go to the same place frequently and really get to know the environment. Recently I found a lotus that was drooping but I was teaching and just grabbed one shot (with student permission) so I would remember to go back later. The next day all the petals had dropped and the moment was gone. But I took the top photo on my return visit.. equally beautiful lotus.

Once in awhile you come across something so captivating you lose all track of time and it gives you a break from all the chaos in the world. Nature of any kind is so therapeutic!